Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Top 100 Alternative Rock Songs

Originally posted 6/14/12; updated 6/28/17.

image from nufizzle.wordpress.com

More than 30 different lists were aggregated to create this list. Alternative is a widely defined collection of rock music which stretches from the garage bands of the 1960s to the indie scene of today. It generally is used to describe groups which are more left of center, but often these bands– such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, U2, and R.E.M. – move to the forefront of mainstream rock.

A brief history of the genre shows its origins to come out of the D.I.Y. aesthetic that accompanied rougher sounding, experimental bands who came out of the 1960s. Groups like the Velvet Underground and The Stooges provided a raunchier and rawer alternative to mainstream rock like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

By the mid-1970s, groups like the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and The Ramones spearheaded the punk scene, which grew out of angry working class kids looking for a musical outlet. By the close of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s, new wave groups like The Cure, Depeche Mode, and New Order emerged at the forefront of a more accessible, electronically-driven, and ready-for-video format. The college rock scene quickly grew out of that, also lending audiences to groups like U2, R.E.M., and The Smiths.

By the end of the 1990s, grunge became the dominant form of rock music with bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam at the helm. They revived some of the punk and D.I.Y. ethos of the 1960s and 1970s, while also crafting big songs which echoed some of the big-anthem classic rock of those decades.

Since grunge, there hasn’t been one dominant form of alternative – or what became known as “modern rock.” Groups like Green Day and Blink-182 created punk-pop while The White Stripes and The Strokes reminded listeners of the garage rock of the 1960s. Artists like Radiohead and Beck reminded listeners of the experimental nature of the genre.

So what is alternative rock exactly? It’s hard to say. This list taps into all the forms referenced above and more. I’ll just let these songs tell you what alternative is.


Top 100 Alternative Rock Songs

Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the U.K.” (1976)

1. Nirvana…Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)
2. Radiohead…Creep (1993)
3. Beck…Loser (1993)
4. Nirvana…Come As You Are (1992)
5. Red Hot Chili Peppers…Under the Bridge (1992)
6. Pearl Jam…Alive (1991)
7. Violent Femmes…Blister in the Sun (1983)
8. Jane’s Addiction…Been Caught Stealing (1990)
9. The Smiths…How Soon Is Now? (1984)
10. Sublime…What I Got (1996)

The Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated” (1978)

11. Smashing Pumpkins…Today (1993)
12. Blur…Song 2 (1997)
13. Nine Inch Nails…Closer (1994)
14. Ramones…I Wanna Be Sedated (1978)
15. Beastie Boys…You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Party (1986)
16. Pearl Jam…Jeremy (1992)
17. Smashing Pumpkins…1979 (1995)
18. R.E.M….Losing My Religion (1991)
19. Oasis…Wonderwall (1995)
20. Jane’s Addiction…Jane Says (1988)

The Clash’s “London Calling” (1979)

21. Beastie Boys…Sabotage (1994)
22. The Cure…Just Like Heaven (1987)
23. Soundgarden…Black Hole Sun (1994)
24. Green Day…Longview (1994)
25. U2…Sunday Bloody Sunday (1983)
26. Pearl Jam…Black (1991)
27. New Order…Bizarre Love Triangle (1986)
28. Linkin Park…In the End (2001)
29. The Offspring…Come Out and Play (1994)
30. Red Hot Chili Peppers…Give It Away (1991)

R.E.M.’s “Radio Free Europe” (1983)

31. R.E.M….It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) (1987)
32. Depeche Mode…Personal Jesus (1989)
33. The Clash…Rock the Casbah (1982)
34. Live…Lightning Crashes (1994)
35. U2…With Or Without You (1987)
36. Stone Temple Pilots…Plush (1992)
37. Rage Against the Machine…Killing in the Name (1993)
38. The Clash…Should I Stay Or Should I Go (1982)
39. New Order…Blue Monday (1983)
40. Joy Division…Love Will Tear Us Apart (1980)

U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (1983)

41. U2…One (1992)
42. Green Day…Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) (1997)
43. Weezer…Buddy Holly (1994)
44. Green Day…When I Come Around (1994)
45. The Clash…London Calling (1979)
46. The Verve…Bittersweet Symphony (1997)
47. Green Day…Brain Stew/Jaded (1995)
48. Foo Fighters…Everlong (1997)
49. Metallica…Enter Sandman (1991)
50. Green Day…Basket Case (1994)

51. Pearl Jam…Even Flow (1991)
52. The White Stripes…Seven Nation Army (2003)
53. The Offspring…Self Esteem (1994)
54. Nine Inch Nails…Head Like a Hole (1989)
55. Depeche Mode…Enjoy the Silence (1990)
56. Nirvana…All Apologies (1993)
57. The Pixies…Here Comes Your Man (1989)
58. U2…Pride (In the Name of Love) (1984)
59. Stone Temple Pilots…Interstate Love Song (1994)
60. Sex Pistols…Anarchy in the U.K. (1976)

New Order’s “Blue Monday” (1983)

61. Soft Cell…Tainted Love (1981)
62. Nirvana…Lithium (1991)
63. Sublime…Wrong Way (1996)
64. Faith No More…Epic (1990)
65. Smashing Pumpkins…Bullet with Butterfly Wings (1995)
66. Blink-182…Dammit (Growing Up) (1997)
67. Weezer…Undone (The Sweater Song) (1994)
68. Iggy Pop…Lust for Life (1977)
69. Smashing Pumpkins…Disarm (1993)
70. Papa Roach...Last Resort (2000)

The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now” (1984)

71. Nirvana…In Bloom (1991)
72. Rage Against the Machine…Bulls on Parade (1996)
73. Devo…Whip It (1980)
74. Blind Melon…No Rain (1993)
75. R.E.M….Radio Free Europe (1983)
76. Ramones…Blitzkrieg Bop (1976)
77. The Cure…Love Song (1989)
78. Beastie Boys…Intergalactic (1998)
79. The B-52’s…Rock Lobster (1979)
80. Sex Pistols…God Save the Queen (1977)

Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)

81. Alice in Chains…Man in the Box (1991)
82. Radiohead…Karma Police (1997)
83. Modern English…I Melt with You (1983)
84. R.E.M….The One I Love (1987)
85. Blink-182…All the Small Things (1999)
86. Pearl Jam…Better Man (1994)
87. The Pixies…Monkey Gone to Heaven (1989)
88. Lit…My Own Worst Enemy (1999)
89. Violent Femmes…Add It Up (1983)
90. Elvis Costello…Alison (1977)

Radiohead’s “Creep” (1993)

91. Pearl Jam…Yellow Ledbetter (1992)
92. Talking Heads…Once in a Lifetime (1981)
93. Talking Heads…Burning Down the House (1983)
94. Echo & the Bunnymen…Lips Like Sugar (1987)
95. The Cure…Boys Don’t Cry (1979)
96. Blink-182…What’s My Age Again? (1999)
97. The Police…Roxanne (1979)
98. Linkin Park…Numb (2003)
99. Linkin Park…One Step Closer (2000)
100. U2…New Year’s Day (1983)

Beck’s “Loser” (1993)


Friday, June 16, 2017

Some of the Longest Waits Between Albums

This list was originally posted on my Dave’s Music Database Facebook page (Some of the Longest Waits Between Albums) on 2/5/2012 and has been updated several times since. I’m reposting it now in honor of Chuck Berry, whose 38-year vacation puts him in a tie with John Lodge for the longest wait between albums.

Here’s a little history about this list. In March 2012, I penned an article for PopMatters.com (“I Heard You Missed Us – We’re Back!”) on bands who’d had long breaks between albums. At the time, I’d waited five years for a new album from Fish, one of my favorite acts. That month Van Halen ended a 14-year silence and in recent years Guns N’ Roses received a lot of press for its 15-year delay between albums. I ended up with an extensive list of acts who have tried the patience of their fans to the max. Note: I’m only looking at album’s worth of new studio material. That includes “specialty” releases of new material for that act such as covers collections or Christmas recordings, but does not include live albums, compilations, remixes, or other reissues of previously released material. Thanks to DMDB fans who contributed to this list!


Some of the Longest Waits:
  • 38 years: Chuck Berry Rock It (1979), Chuck (2017)
  • 38 years: John Lodge Natural Avenue (1977), 10,000 Light Years Ago (2015)
  • 36 years: The Yardbirds Little Games (1967), Birdland (2003)
  • 35 years: Vashti Bunyan Just Another Diamond Day (1970), Lookingafter (2005)
  • 35 years: The Sonics Sinderella (1980), This Is the Sonics (2015)
  • 34 years: The Stooges Raw Power (1973), The Weirdness (2007)
  • 32 years: New York Dolls Too Much Too Soon (1974), One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This (2006)
  • 30 years: Magazine Magic, Murder and the Weather (1981), No Thyself (2011)
  • 28 years: Eagles The Long Run (1979), Long Road Out of Eden (2007)
  • 28 years: The Slits Return of the Giant Slits (1981), Trapped Animal (2009)
  • 28 years: Cat Stevens Back to Earth (1978), An Other Cup (2006)
  • 27 years: Big Star Third/Sister Lovers (1978), In Space (2005)
  • 27 years: Dexy’s Midnight Runners Don’t Stand Me Down (1985), One Day I’m Going to Soar (2012)
  • 25 years: Bauhaus Burning from the Inside (1983), Go Away White (2008)
  • 25 years: Levon Helm Levon Helm (1982), Dirt Farmer (2007)
  • 25 years: Throbbing Gristle Journey Through a Body (1982), Part Two: The Endless Not (2007)
  • 25 years: Roger Waters Amused to Death (1992), Is This the Life We Really Want? (2017)

  • 24 years: The Cars Door to Door (1987), Move Like This (2011)
  • 24 years: The Who It’s Hard (1982), Endless Wire (2006)
  • 23 years: The Zombies Odessey and Oracle (1968), New World (1991)
  • 22 years: Jeff Lynne Armchair Theatre (1990), Long Wave (2012)
  • 22 years: Mission of Burma Vs. (1982), ONoffON (2004)
  • 22 years: My Bloody Valentine Loveless (1991), MBV (2013)
  • 22 years: The Soft Boys Underwater Moonlight (1980), Nextdoorland (2002)
  • 21 years: The Vaselines Dum-Dum (1989), Sex with an X (2010)

    20 Years

  • The Del-Lords Lovers Who Wander (1990), Under Construction (EP, 2010)
  • Devo Smooth Noodle Maps (1990), Something for Everybody (2010)
  • The Feelies Time for a Witness (1991), Here Before (2011)
  • Pink Floyd The Division Bell (1994), Endless River (2014)
  • Steely Dan Gaucho (1980), Two Against Nature (2000)

    19 Years

  • Grace Jones Bulletproof Heart (1989), Hurricane (2008)

    18 Years

  • Black Sabbath Forbidden (1995), 13 (2013)
  • Faith No More Album of the Year (1997), Sol Invictus (2015)
  • Was (Not Was) Are You Okay? (1990), Boo! (2008)

    17 Years

  • Blondie The Hunter (1982), No Exit (1999)
  • The Go-Go’s Talk Show (1984), God Bless the Go-Go’s (2001)
  • Kraftwerk Electric Café (1986), Tour de Force Soundtracks (2003)
  • Steve Miller Band Wide River (1993), Bingo (2010)
  • Squeeze Domino (1998), From the Cradle to the Grave (2015)

    16 Years

  • The Beach Boys Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 (1996), That’s Why God Made the Radio (2012)
  • The B-52’s Good Stuff (1992), Funplex (2008)
  • Dr. Dre 2001 (1999), Compton (2015)
  • Gang of Four Shrinkwrapped (1995), Content (2011)
  • Gil Scott-Heron Spirits (1994), I’m New Here (2010)
  • Kansas Somewhere to Elsewhere (2000), The Prelude Implicit (2016)

    15 Years

  • Camper Van Beethoven Key Lime Pie (1989), New Roman Times (2004)
  • Electric Light Orchestra: Balance of Power (1986), Zoom (2001)
  • Foreigner: Mr. Moonlight (1994), Can’t Slow Down (2009)
  • Roky Erickson All That May Do My Rhyme (1995), True Love Cast Out All Evil (2010)
  • Guns N’ Roses The Spaghetti Incident? (1993), Chinese Democracy (2008)
  • Don Henley Inside Job (2000), Cass County (2015)
  • Nitzer Ebb Big Hit (1995), Industrial Complex (2010)
  • The Rainmakers Skin (1996), 25 On (2011)

    14 Years

  • Accept Predator (1996), Blood of the Nations (2010)
  • Alice in Chains Alice in Chains (1995), Black Gives Way to Blue (2009)
  • Big Country Driving to Damascus (1999), The Journey (2013)
  • Lindsey Buckingham Out of the Cradle (1992), Under the Skin (2006)
  • Crowded House Together Alone (1993), Time on Earth (2007)
  • D’Angelo Voodoo (2000), Black Messiah (2014)
  • Electric Light Orchestra Zoom (2001), Alone in the Universe (2015)
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer Love Beach (1978), Black Moon (1992)
  • Hooters Out of Body (1993), Time Stand Still (2007)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd Street Survivors (1977), Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 (1991)
  • New Kids on the Block Face the Music (1994), The Block (2008)
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Universal (1996), History of Modern (2010)
  • The Swans Soundtrack for the Blind (1996), My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky (2010)
  • Television Adventure (1978), Television (1992)
  • Van Halen: Van Halen III (1998), A Different Kind of Truth (2012)

    13 Years

  • Garth Brooks Scarecrow (2001), Man Against Machine (2014)
  • Jane’s Addiction Ritual de lo Habitual (1990), Strays (2003)
  • The Zombies New World (1991), As Far As I Can See… (2004)

    12 Years

  • Kate Bush: The Red Shoes (1993), Aerial (2005)
  • The Go-Betweens 16 Lovers Lane (1988), The Friends of Rachel Worth (2000)
  • Wire The First Letter (1991), Send (2003)
  • Hole Celebrity Skin (1998), Nobody’s Daughter (2010)
  • The House of Love Audience with the Mind (1993), Days Run Away (2005)
  • Billy Idol Cyberpunk (1993), Devil’s Playground (2005)
  • Loretta Lynn Van Lear Rose (2004), Full Circle (2016)
  • Polvo Shapes (1997), In Prism (2009)
  • Styx Big Bang Theory (2005), The Mission (2017)

    11 Years

  • Boston Life, Love & Hope (2013), Corporate America (2002)
  • ESG ESG (1991), Step Off (2002)
  • Grandmaster Flash Flash Is Back (1998), The Bridge: Concept of a Culture (2009)
  • Heart Desire Walks On (1993), Jupiter’s Darling (2004)
  • Kiss Psycho Circus (1998) Sonic Boom (2009)
  • The Libertines The Libertines (2004), Anthems for Doomed Youth (2015)
  • The Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang (2005), Blue and Lonesome (2016)

  • No Doubt Rock Steady (2001), Push and Shove (2012)
  • Portishead Portishead (1997), Third (2008)
  • The Power Station The Power Station (1985), Living in Fear (1996)
  • Bob Seger It’s a Mystery (1995), Face the Promise (2006)
  • The Verve Urban Hymns (1997), Forth (2008)
  • Scott Walker Climate of Hunter (1984), Tilt (1995)
  • Scott Walker Tilt (1995), The Drift (2006)

    10 Years

  • American Music Club San Francisco (1994), Love Songs for Patriots (2004)
  • David Bowie Reality (2003), The Next Day (2013)
  • Bush Golden State (2001), The Sea of Memories (2011)
  • Dinosaur Jr. Hand It Over (1997), Beyond (2007)
  • Eurythmics We Too Are One (1989), Peace (1999)
  • Peter Gabriel Us (1992); Up (2002)
  • Gin Blossoms Congratulations I’m Sorry (1996), Major Lodge Victory (2006)
  • The Human League Secrets (2001), Credo (2011)
  • Journey Raised on Radio (1986), Trial by Fire (1996)
  • The Knack Round Trip (1981), Serious Fun (1991)
  • The Lemonheads Car Button Cloth (1996), The Lemonheads (2006)
  • Matchbox 20 More Than You Think You Are (2002), North (2012)
  • Steve Perry Street Talk (1984), For the Love of Strange Medicine (1994)
  • Sade Lovers Rock (2000), Soldier of Love (2010)
  • Suicide Why Be Blue (1992), American Supreme (2002)
  • Supertramp Free As a Bird (1987), Some Things Never Change (1997)
  • Scott Walker We Had It All (1974), Climate of Hunter (1984)
  • Stevie Wonder Conversation Peace (1995), A Time to Love (2005)
  • Yes: Magnification (2001), Fly from Here (2011)

    9 Years

  • The Allman Brothers Band Brothers of the Road (1981), Seven Turns (1990)
  • The Allman Brothers Band Where It All Begins (1994), Hittin’ the Note (2003)
  • Leonard Cohen The Future (1992), Ten New Songs (2001)
  • Deep Purple Come Taste the Band (1975), Perfect Strangers (1984)
  • Styx Edge of the Century (1990), Brave New World (1999);

    8 Years

  • AC/DC Stiff Upper Lip (2000), Black Ice (2008)
  • Aerosmith Honkin’ on Bobo (2004), Music from Another Dimension! (2012)
  • Berlin 4Play (2005), Animal (2013)
  • Blondie The Curse of Blondie (2003), Panic of Girls (2011)
  • Boston Don’t Look Back (1978), Third Stage (1986)
  • Boston Third Stage (1986), Walk On (1994)
  • Boston Walk On (1994), Corporate America (2002)
  • Camper Van Beethoven New Roman Times (2004), virus_installer.exe (2012)
  • Chicago Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album (1998), XXX (2006)
  • Leonard Cohen Dear Heather (2004), Old Ideas (2012)
  • Fleetwood Mac Time (1995), Say You Will (2003)
  • Michael Jackson Invincible (2001); Michael (2010 – released posthumously; Jackson died in 2009).
  • Mick Jagger Wandering Spirit (1993), Goddess in the Doorway (2001)
  • Modest Mouse We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (2007), Strangers to Ourselves (2015)
  • The Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon (1997), A Bigger Bang (2005)
  • Rush Test for Echo (1996) Vapor Trails (2002)
  • Sade Love Deluxe (1992), Lovers Rock (2000)
  • The Smithereens God Save the Smithereens (1999), Christmas with the Smithereens (2007)
  • Stevie Wonder Characters (1987), Conversation Peace (1995)


    Still Waiting…
  • 38 years: Led Zeppelin In Through the Out Door (1979)
  • 24 years: Billy Joel River of Dreams (1993)
  • 23 years: Emerson, Lake & Palmer In the Hot Seat (1994)
  • 23 years: Steve Perry For the Love of Strange Medicine (1994)
  • 20 years: Genesis Calling All Stations (1997)
  • 19 years: Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
  • 18 years: Dr. Dre 2001 (1999)
  • 16 years: Mick Jagger Goddess in the Doorway (2001)
  • 15 years: David Baerwald Here Comes the New Folk Underground (2002)
  • 15 years: Supertramp Slow Motion (2002)
  • 15 years: Shania Twain Up! (2002)
  • 14 years: The Allman Brothers Band Hittin’ the Note (2003)
  • 14 years: Fleetwood Mac Say You Will (2003)
  • 14 years: Kraftwerk Tour de France Soundtracks (2003)
  • 14 years: Steely Dan Everything Must Go (2003)
  • 13 years: Tears for Fears Everybody Loves a Happy Ending (2004)
  • 11 years: Tool 10,000 Days (2006)
  • 11 years: The Who Endless Wire (2006)
  • 10 years: Hooters Time Stand Still (2007)


    Resources and Related Links:
  • Friday, June 9, 2017

    The Top 100 New Wave/College Rock Songs

    image from generationbass.com

    As the upcoming Dave’s Music Database on pre-1989 alternative rock hits barrels toward publication, here’s a tease of what’s to come. In creating the book, multiple lists of various forms of alternative rock were aggregrated and here are the results for the top 100 new wave/college rock songs:

    1. New Order “Blue Monday” (1983)
    2. Violent Femmes “Blister in the Sun” (1983)
    3. The Cure “Just Like Heaven” (1987)
    4. The Smiths “How Soon Is Now?” (1984)
    5. Soft Cell “Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go?” (1981)
    6. Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (1980)
    7. Modern English “I Melt with You” (1983)
    8. The B-52’s “Rock Lobster” (1979)
    9. Devo “Whip It” (1980)
    10. New Order “Bizarre Love Triangle” (1986)

    11. The Clash “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” (1982)
    12. R.E.M. “Radio Free Europe” (1983)
    13. The Clash “Rock the Casbah” (1982)
    14. Depeche Mode “Personal Jesus” (1989)
    15. Jane’s Addiction “Jane Says” (1988)
    16. A Flock of Seagulls “I Ran” (1982)
    17. R.E.M. “It’s the End of the World as We Know It and I Feel Fine” (1987)
    18. Talking Heads “Once in a Lifetime” (1981)
    19. Simple Minds “Don’t You Forget About Me” (1985)
    20. Dexy’s Midnight Runners “Come on Eileen” (1982)

    21. The Pixies “Here Comes Your Man” (1989)
    22. Gary Numan “Cars” (1979)
    23. U2 “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (1983)
    24. Depeche Mode “People Are People” (1985)
    25. The Human League “Don’t You Want Me” (1981)
    26. Talking Heads “Burning Down the House” (1983)
    27. Frankie Goes to Hollywood “Relax” (1983)
    28. Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This” (1983)
    29. Echo & the Bunnymen “Lips Like Sugar” (1987)
    30. Pet Shop Boys “West End Girls” (1986)

    31. U2 “With Or Without You” (1987)
    32. Madness “Our House” (1982)
    33. Talking Heads “Psycho Killer” (1977)
    34. Depeche Mode “Enjoy the Silence” (1990)
    35. Midnight Oil “Beds Are Burning” (1988)
    36. Depeche Mode “Just Can’t Get Enough” (1981)
    37. Duran Duran “Hungry Like the Wolf” (1982)
    38. Tears for Fears “Shout” (1984)
    39. A-ha “Take on Me” (1984)
    40. U2 “Pride (In the Name of Love)” (1984)

    41. The Church “Under the Milky Way” (1988)
    42. The Cure “Boys Don’t Cry” (1979)
    43. XTC “Dear God” (1986)
    44. Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (1985)
    45. Talk Talk “It’s My Life” (1984)
    46. The La’s “There She Goes” (1990)
    47. New Order “True Faith” (1987)
    48. Dead or Alive “You Spin Me Round Like a Record” (1985)
    49. Psychedelic Furs “Pretty in Pink” (1981)
    50. The Pixies “Monkey Gone to Heaven” (1989)

    51. Oingo Boingo “Dead Man’s Party” (1985)
    52. The English Beat “Save It for Later” (1983)
    53. Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star” (1981)
    54. Love & Rockets “So Alive” (1989)
    55. Big Country “In a Big Country” (1983)
    56. Wall of Voodoo “Mexican Radio” (1983)
    57. Squeeze “Tempted” (1981)
    58. After the Fire “Der Kommissar” (1983)
    59. The Cure “Close to Me” (1985)
    60. The Vapors “Turning Japanese” (1980)

    61. Blondie “Heart of Glass” (1979)
    62. Violent Femmes “Add It Up” (1983)
    63. The Cure “Love Song” (1989)
    64. The Clash “Train in Vain (Stand by Me)” (1980)
    65. Men Without Hats “The Safety Dance” (1983)
    66. Naked Eyes “Always Something There to Remind Me” (1983)
    67. Sonic Youth “Teen Age Riot” (1988)
    68. Nine Inch Nails “Head Like a Hole” (1989)
    69. The Cult “She Sells Sanctuary” (1986)
    70. Peter Schilling “Major Tom (Coming Home)” (1983)

    71. Billy Idol “Dancing with Myself” (1981)
    72. Yazoo “Situation” (1982)
    73. The Cure “In Between Days” (1985)
    74. Thomas Dolby “She Blinded Me with Science” (1982)
    75. When in Rome “The Promise” (1989)
    76. Men at Work “Down Under’ (1981)
    77. Billy Idol “White Wedding” (1982)
    78. INXS “Don’t Change” (1982)
    79. U2 “I Will Follow” (1980)
    80. The Jesus & Mary Chain “Just Like Honey” (1985)

    81. Pretenders “Brass in Pocket (I’m Special)” (1979)
    82. Erasure “Oh L’Amour” (1986)
    83. The Sugarcubes “Birthday” (1988)
    84. The Stone Roses “I Wanna Be Adored” (1989)
    85. Spandau Ballet “True” (1983)
    86. Blondie “One Way Or Another” (1979)
    87. Duran Duran “Girls on Film” (1981)
    88. Elvis Costello “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Understanding” (1979)
    89. Psychedelic Furs “Love My Way” (1982)
    90. Kajagoogoo “Too Shy” (1983)

    91. World Party “Ship of Fools (Save Me from Tomorrow)” (1986)
    92. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark “If You Leave” (1986)
    93. INXS “Need You Tonight” (1987)
    94. Yazoo “Don’t Go” (1982)
    95. The Jam “A Town Called Malice” (1982)
    96. General Public “Tenderness” (1984)
    97. Boomtown Rats “I Don’t Like Mondays” (1979)
    98. Split Enz “I Got You” (1980)
    99. The Go-Go’s “We Got the Beat” (1982)
    100. Missing Persons “Destination Unknown” (1982)


    Thursday, May 25, 2017

    The Top 50 Grunge Songs of All TIme

    l to r: Eddie Vedder, Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell, Layne Staley,
    image from fanboysanonymous.com

    The recent death of singer Chris Cornell has provoked many to lament how another grunge hero is gone. Arguably the four biggest grunge bands in the early ‘90s were Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains. Only Eddie Vedder, lead singer for Pearl Jam, is still alive.

    This post, however, is meant as a celebration of the grunge era. This is a look back at the biggest songs the genre produced. As with all Dave’s Music Database lists, this list is created by an aggregate of best-of lists from multiple sources. Here are the top 50 grunge songs:

    1. Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)
    2. Pearl Jam “Alive” (1991)
    3. Alice in Chains “Would?” (1992)
    4. Temple of the Dog “Hunger Strike” (1991)
    5. Soundgarden “Black Hole Sun” (1994)
    6. Pearl Jam “Jeremy” (1991)
    7. Stone Temple Pilots “Plush” (1992)
    8. Pearl Jam “Even Flow” (1991)
    9. Screaming Trees “Nearly Lost You” (1992)
    10. Pearl Jam “Black” (1991)

    11. Mudhoney “Touch Me I’m Sick” (1988)
    12. Soundgarden “Outshined’ (1991)
    13. Nirvana “Lithium” (1991)
    14. Stone Temple Pilots “Interstate Love Song” (1994)
    15. Nirvana “All Apologies” (1993)
    16. Nirvana “Heart-Shaped Box” (1993)
    17. Alice in Chains “Man in the Box” (1991)
    18. Nirvana “Come As You Are” (1991)
    19. Alice in Chains “Rooster” (1992)
    20. Soundgarden “Spoonman” (1994)

    21. Stone Temple Pilots “Big Empty” (1994)
    22. Stone Temple Pilots “Sex Type Thing” (1992)
    23. L7 Pretend We’re Dead” (1992)
    24. Hole “Doll Parts” (1994)
    25. Alice in Chains “Them Bones” (1992)
    26. Mad Season “River of Deceit” (1995)
    27. Toadies “Possum Kingdom” (1994)
    28. Nirvana “You Know You’re Right” (1994)
    29. Mother Love Bone “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” (1989)
    30. Nirvana “In Bloom” (1991)

    31. Bush “Glycerine” (1995)
    32. Alice in Chains “Nutshell” (1994)
    33. Blind Melon “No Rain” (1993)
    34. Temple of the Dog “Say Hello 2 Heaven” (1991)
    35. Bush “Everything Zen” (1994)
    36. Smashing Pumpkins “Cherub Rock” (1993)
    37. Nirvana “Rape Me” (1993)
    38. Pearl Jam “Rearviewmirror” (1993)
    39. Pearl Jam “Yellow Lebetter” (1992)
    40. Stone Temple Pilots “Wicked Garden” (1992)

    41. Hole “Violet” (1994)
    42. Collective Soul “Shine” (1994)
    43. Meat Puppets “Backwater” (1994)
    44. Nirvana “About a Girl” (1989)
    45. Pearl Jam “Daughter” (1993)
    46. Alice in Chains “Got Me Wrong” (1992)
    47. Pearl Jam “Better Man” (1994)
    48. Soundgarden “Rusty Cage” (1991)
    49. Stone Temple Pilots “Creep” (1992)
    50. Soundgarden “Jesus Christ Pose” (1991)


    Wednesday, May 24, 2017

    The Top 50 Music Executives of All Time

    image from tonedrecords.com

    Here’s the top 50 music executives. The record companies with which they were associated are shown in parentheses after each name. This list, as always with DMDB lists, was determined by an aggregation of multiple lists.

    1. Berry Gordy, Jr. (Motown)
    2. Sam Phillips (Sun)
    3. Leonard Chess (Chess)
    4. Clive Davis (Columbia, Arista)
    5. David Geffen (Asylum, Geffen, DGC, Dreamworks SKG)
    6. Herb Alpert (A&M)
    7. Ahmet Ertegun (Atlantic)
    8. Jerry Wexler (Atlantic)
    9. Nesuhi Ertegun (Atlantic)
    10. Jac Holzman (Elektra, Nonesuch)

    11. Jim Stewart (Stax)
    12. Jimmy Iovine (Interscope)
    13. Antonio “L.A.” Reid (LaFace, Arista, Def Jam Island, Epic)
    14. Irving Azoff (manager for Christina Aguilera, Bon Jovi, the Eagles, Dan Fogelberg, Journey, Maroon 5, No Doubt, Steely Dan, and Van Halen)
    15. Mo Ostin (Verve, Reprise, Warner Bros., DreamWorks SKG)
    16. Jerry Moss (A&M)
    17. Dr. Dre (Death Row, Aftermath)
    18. Tommy Mottola (Sony Music)
    19. Phil Chess (Chess)
    20. Rick Rubin (Def Jam, American Recordings, Columbia)

    21. Milt Gabler (Commodore, Decca)
    22. Bill Graham (concert promotor, Fillmore Auditorium)
    23. Arif Mardin (Atlantic, Manhattan)
    24. Clarence Avant (Venture, Sussex)
    25. Seymour Stein (Sire, Warner Bros.)
    26. Chris Strachwitz
    27. Norman Granz (Clef, Norgran, Down Home, Verve, Pablo)
    28. Goddard Lieberson (Columbia)
    29. Kenneth Gamble (Philadelphia International)
    30. Leon Huff (Philadelphia International)

    31. Chris Blackwell (Island)
    32. Puff Daddy/P. Diddy (Bad Boy Entertainment)
    33. Art Rupe (Speciality)
    34. Suge Knight (Death Row)
    35. Lou Pearlman (Trans Continental)
    36. Syd Nathan (King)
    37. Mathew Knowles (manager of Destiny’s Child)
    38. Swizz Beatz (Full Surface)
    39. Neil Bogart (Casablanca, Boardwalk)
    40. Rick Hall (FAME Studios)

    41. Willie Mitchell (Hi, Waylo)
    42. Simon Cowell (Pop Idol, American Idol)
    43. Kanye West (Roc-A-Fella)
    44. Smokey Robinson (Motown)
    45. Scooter Braun (School Boy Records, Raymond-Braun Media Group)
    46. Jerry Ross (Heritage)
    47. Jay-Z (Roc-A-Fella)
    48. R. Kelly (Rockland)
    49. Madonna (Maverick)
    50. Miles Copeland III (I.R.S.)


    Saturday, May 20, 2017

    The Top 20 Music Managers of All Time

    Here’s the top 20 music managers (with some of the best-known artists they’ve managed in parentheses) as determined by an aggregation of multiple lists.

    1. Andrew Loog Oldham (The Rolling Stones)
    2. Brian Epstein (The Beatles)
    3. Colonel Tom Parker (Elvis Presley)
    4. Peter Grant (Led Zeppelin)
    5. Malcolm McLaren (Sex Pistols)
    6. Don Arden (Black Sabbath)
    7. Allen Klein (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones)
    8. Don Kirshner (The Monkees, Kansas)
    9. Albert Grossman (Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, The Band)
    10. Kit Lambert (The Who)

    11. Robert Stigwood (The Bee Gees)
    12. Lou Pearlman (Backstreet Boys, N’ Sync)
    13. Tony Defries (David Bowie)
    14. Irving Azoff (Eagles)
    15. Chris Stamp (The Who, Jimi Hendrix)
    16. Simon Fuller (Spice Girls)
    17. Jon Landau (Bruce Springsteen)
    18. Dee Anthony (Tony Bennett, Peter Frampton)
    19. Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber)
    20. Joseph Jackson (The Jackson 5)


    The Top 50 Producers of All Time

    First posted 3/14/2012, updated 5/19/2017.

    Here’s the top 50 producers (with some of the best-known artists they’ve produced in parentheses) as determined by aggregating the resources listed at the bottom of the page.

    1. George Martin (America, The Beatles, Jeff Beck, Paul McCartney)
    2. Phil Spector (The Beatles, John Lennon, The Righteous Brothers, The Ronettes, The Shirelles)
    3. Dr. Dre (Mary J. Blige, Eminem, 50 Cent, N.W.A., Snoop Dogg)
    4. Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash, Public Enemy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Run-D.M.C.)
    5. Butch Vig (Garbage, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth)
    6. Sam Phillips (Howlin’ Wolf, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley)
    7. Brian Eno (David Bowie, Coldplay, Talking Heads, U2)
    8. Quincy Jones (Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Jackson, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra)
    9. Robert “Mutt” Lange (AC/DC, Bryan Adams, The Cars, Def Leppard, Foreigner, Shania Twain)
    10. Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys)

    11. Berry Gordy Jr. (Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder)
    12. Chris Thomas (INXS, Pretenders, Roxy Music, Sex Pistols)
    13. Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Eddie Holland (Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, The Isley Brothers, Martha & the Vandellas)
    14. T-Bone Burnett (John Mellencamp, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, The Wallflowers)
    15. Daniel Lanois (Bob Dylan, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, U2)
    16. Timbaland (Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake)
    17. Todd Rundgren (Cheap Trick, Grand Funk Railroad, Meat Loaf, New York Dolls, XTC)
    18. Jerry Wexler (Ray Charles, The Drifters, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave)
    19. Brendan O’Brien (Black Crowes, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Stone Temple Pilots)
    20. Lee “Scratch” Perry (The Clash, Bob Marley & The Wailers)

    21. Tom Dowd (Allman Brothers Band, James Brown, Eric Clapton, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Rod Stewart)
    22. Joe Meek (Ritchie Blackmore, Tom Jones (singer), Screaming Lord Sutch)
    23. Jimmy Page (The Firm, Led Zeppelin, John Mayall)
    24. Trevor Horn (The Buggles, Paul McCartney, Simple Minds, Yes)
    25. Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo as The Neptunes (Kelis, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake)
    26. Glyn Johns (Eagles, Steve Miller Band, The Rolling Stones, The Who)
    27. Jimmy Iovine (Dire Straits, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, Simple Minds, U2)
    28. Steve Albini (Breeders, Nirvana, Pixies)
    29. Tony Visconti (Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Sparks, Talking Heads)
    30. John H. Hammond (Count Basie, Charlie Christian, Bob Dylan, Bilie Holiday, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Ray Vaughan)

    31. Nigel Godrich (Beck, Paul McCartney, Radiohead, R.E.M., U2)
    32. Bob Rock (Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Metallica)
    33. Alan Parsons (Ambrosia, The Hollies, Pink Floyd, Al Stewart)
    34. David Foster (Michael Buble, Mariah Carey, Chicago, Celine Dion, Josh Groban)
    35. Norman Whitfield (Gladys Knight & the Pips, Rose Royce, Edwin Starr, The Temptations)
    36. Ted Macero (Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald)
    37. John Cale (The Modern Lovers, Patti Smith, Squeeze, The Stooges)
    38. Max Martin (Backstreet Boys, N Sync, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift)
    39. Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Kiss, Pink Floyd)
    40. Roy Thomas Baker (The Cars, Journey, Queen, Smashing Pumpkins)

    41. Eddie Kramer (Peter Frampton, Jimi Hendrix, Kiss, Led Zeppelin)
    42. Jimmy Miller (Spencer Davis Group, The Rolling Stones, Traffic)
    43. Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Del Shannon, Traveling Wilburys)
    44. DJ Premier (Gang Starr, Jay-Z, Nas, Kanye West)
    45. Smokey Robinson (Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, The Miracles, The Temptations)
    46. Shel Talmy (David Bowie, The Kinks, The Small Faces, The Who)
    47. Arif Mardin (The Bee Gees, Phil Collins, Aretha Franklin, Queen)
    48. Phil Ramone (Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, James Taylor)
    49. Dave Edmunds (Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Stray Cats)
    50. Ted Templeman (The Doobie Brothers, Van Morrison, Van Halen)


    Resources and Related Links:

    Thursday, May 18, 2017

    Chris Cornell: His Top 20 Songs

    image from CBS News

    The music world was saddened by the loss of Chris Cornell on May 18, 2017. The voice of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, and Audioslave committed suicide after a Soundgarden concert in Detroit. He was 52. In honor of Cornell, here are his top 20 songs according to Dave’s Music Database, which compiles sales, chart performance, radio airplay, and best-of lists.

    1. Soundgarden “Black Hole Sun” (1994)
    2. Soundgarden “Spoonman” (1994)
    3. Audioslave “Like a Stone” (2002)
    4. Temple of the Dog “Hunger Strike” (1991)
    5. Soundgarden “Burden in My Hand” (1996)
    6. Audioslave “Be Yourself” (2005)
    7. Soundgarden “Pretty Noose” (1996)
    8. Soundgarden “Outshined” (1991)
    9. Soundgarden “Jesus Christ Pose” (1991)
    10. Soundgarden “Fell on Black Days” (1994)

    11. Soundgarden “Blow Up the Outside World” (1996)
    12. Audioslave “Cochise” (2002)
    13. Audioslave “I Am the Highway” (2002)
    14. Chris Cornell “Billie Jean” (2007)
    15. Chris Cornell “Can’t Change Me” (1999)
    16. Audioslave “Original Fire” (2006)
    17. Audioslave “Show Me How to Live” (2002)
    18. Audioslave “Doesn’t Remind Me” (2005)
    19. Temple of the Dog “Say Hello 2 Heaven” (1991)
    20. Soundgarden “The Day I Tried to Live” (1994)


    Sunday, May 14, 2017

    The Top100 Keyboardists/Pianists of All Time

    image from musicademy.com

    This is one of the DMDB’s most diverse best-of lists, with everything from classical (Beethoven, Mozart) to jazz (Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock) to R&B (Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder) to pop/rock (Billy Joel, Elton John) to progressive rock (Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman). As always, DMDB lists are determined by an aggregation of multiple lists. Here are the top 100 keyboardists/pianists of all time:

    1. Franz Liszt
    2. Art Tatum
    3. Vladimir Horowitz
    4. Chick Corea
    5. Thelonious Monk
    6. Bill Evans
    7. Frederic Chopin
    8. Sergei Rachmaninoff
    9. Ludwig van Beethoven
    10. Oscar Peterson

    11. Dave Brubeck
    12. Duke Ellington
    13. Ray Manzarek
    14. Josef Hoffman
    15. Keith Emerson
    16. Herbie Hancock
    17. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    18. McCoy Tyner
    19. Ahmad Jamal
    20. Earl Hines

    21. Billy Joel
    22. Count Basie
    23. Keith Jarrett
    24. Erroll Garner
    25. Richard Wright
    26. Glenn Gould
    27. Sviatoslav Richter
    28. Tommy Flanagan
    29. Red Garland
    30. Horace Silver

    31. Fats Waller
    32. Bud Powell
    33. Jelly Roll Morton
    34. Wynton Kelly
    35. Jon Lord
    36. Gene Harris
    37. Jordan Rudess
    38. Rick Wakeman
    39. Arthur Rubenstein
    40. Gregg Rolie

    41. Stevie Wonder
    42. Alfred Cortot
    43. Elton John
    44. Steve Winwood
    45. Jonathan Cain
    46. Claudio Arrau
    47. Teddy Wilson
    48. George Shearing
    49. Al Kooper
    50. Martha Argerich

    51. Alfred Brendel
    52. James P. Johnson
    53. John Paul Jones
    54. Ray Charles
    55. Billy Taylor
    56. Nicky Hopkins
    57. Andre Previn
    58. Arturo Bendetti Michelangeli
    59. Jan Hammer
    60. Henry “Hank” Jones

    61. Willie “The Lion” Smith
    62. Nat “King” Cole
    63. Billy Powell
    64. Hampton Hawes
    65. Ron “Pigpen” McKernan
    66. Patrick Moraz
    67. Bobby Timmons
    68. Neal Doughty
    69. Janne Warman
    70. Tony Banks

    71. Walter Gleseking
    72. Robert Schumann
    73. Sonny Clark
    74. Billy Preston
    75. Liberace
    76. Phineas Newborn Jr.
    77. Brian Eno
    78. Gregg Allman
    79. Evgeny Kissin
    80. George Duke

    81. Eubie Blake
    82. Mose Alison
    83. Mary Lou Williams
    84. Rod Argent
    85. Dennis DeYoung
    86. Michael Petrucciani
    87. Paul Bley
    88. Kerry Livgren
    89. Kenny Drew
    90. Richard Tandy

    91. Brad Mehldau
    92. Don Airey
    93. Geoff Downes
    94. Alicia Delarrocha
    95. Marc-Andre Hamelin
    96. Roy Bittan
    97. Mike Pinder
    98. Robert Lamm
    99. Vince Guaraldi
    100. Joe Sample


    Thursday, May 4, 2017

    The Top 50 Adult Contemporary Acts

    image of Elton John, Celine Dion, and Lionel Richie from billboard.com

    According to Billboard magazine, these are the top 50 adult contemporary artists, as determined by their success on the adult contemporary singles charts from 1961-2011. See the original link here.

    1. Elton John
    2. Neil Diamond
    3. Barbra Streisand
    4. Barry Manilow
    5. Kenny Rogers
    6. Chicago
    7. Billy Joel
    8. Carpenters
    9. Lionel Richie
    10. Anne Murray

    11. Dionne Warwick
    12. Phil Collins
    13. Elvis Presley
    14. Gloria Estefan/Miami Sound Machine
    15. Whitney Houston
    16. Olivia Newton-John
    17. Herb Alpert
    18. Michael Bolton
    19. Celine Dion
    20. Andy Williams

    21. Frank Sinatra
    22. John Denver
    23. Bobby Vinton
    24. Rod Stewart
    25. Glen Campbell
    26. Al Martino
    27. James Taylor
    28. Mariah Carey
    29. Helen Reddy
    30. Madonna

    31. Carly Simon
    32. Stevie Wonder
    33. Daryl Hall & John Oates
    34. Richard Marx
    35. Engelbert Humperdinck
    36. Dean Martin
    37. Linda Ronstadt
    38. Dan Fogelberg
    39. Tom Jones (singer)
    40. Air Supply

    41. Diana Ross
    42. Cher
    43. 5th Dimension
    44. Jack Jones
    45. The Lettermen
    46. B.J. Thomas
    47. Johnny Mathis
    48. Amy Grant
    49. Fleetwood Mac
    50. Perry Como


    The Top 100 Classic Rock Acts, 1962-1981

    image from classrockhq.blogspot.com

    These are the top 100 classic rock acts as listed in the yet-to-be-released Dave’s Music Database book, Charting the Classic Rock Songs, 1962-1981. That book speculated on what a classic rock chart would have looked like, had it existed, for the aforementioned years. Songs’ peak positions were tallied to generate a list of the top 100 classic rock artists.

    1. The Beatles
    2. The Rolling Stones
    3. Led Zeppelin
    4. The Who
    5. Elton John
    6. Bob Dylan
    7. Pink Floyd
    8. The Doors
    9. AC/DC
    10. Eagles

    11. Paul McCartney/Wings
    12. Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
    13. Rod Stewart/The Faces
    14. Fleetwood Mac
    15. Bruce Springsteen
    16. Jimi Hendrix
    17. David Bowie
    18. Creedence Clearwater Revival
    19. Paul Simon/Simon & Garfunkel
    20. The Kinks

    21. Eric Clapton/Derek & the Dominos
    22. Queen
    23. Billy Joel
    24. The Doobie Brothers
    25. Steely Dan
    26. Neil Young
    27. Van Halen
    28. Electric Light Orchestra
    29. Aerosmith
    30. Rush

    31. Grateful Dead
    32. Chicago
    33. Lynyrd Skynyrd
    34. Styx
    35. Allman Brothers Band
    36. Crosby, Stills & Nash/Neil Young
    37. The Guess Who
    38. John Lennon
    39. Journey
    40. ZZ Top

    41. Bad Company
    42. Steve Miller Band
    43. The Moody Blues
    44. Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship
    45. Foreigner
    46. Kiss
    47. Santana
    48. Alice Cooper
    49. Van Morrison/Them
    50. Jethro Tull

    51. Linda Ronstadt
    52. The Cars
    53. Tommy James & the Shondells
    54. Three Dog Night
    55. Heart
    56. Deep Purple
    57. The Police
    58. Boston
    59. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
    60. Genesis

    61. Supertramp
    62. Black Sabbath
    63. The Hollies
    64. The Beach Boys
    65. The Animals
    66. Daryl Hall & John Oates
    67. J. Geils Band
    68. The Byrds
    69. Jackson Browne
    70. Grand Funk Railroad

    71. James Taylor
    72. REO Speedwagon
    73. The Band
    74. George Harrison
    75. Yes
    76. Carole King
    77. Pat Benatar
    78. Paul Revere & the Raiders
    79. Roy Orbison
    80. Donovan

    81. Janis Joplin/Big Brother & the Holding Company
    82. Cream
    83. The Grass Roots
    84. Traffic
    85. The Clash
    86. The (Young) Rascals
    87. Joe Cocker
    88. Ted Nugent
    89. America
    90. Steppenwolf

    91. Cat Stevens
    92. The Monkees
    93. Bachman-Turner Overdrive
    94. War
    95. Kansas
    96. April Wine
    97. Kenny Loggins/Loggins & Messina
    98. Ramones
    99. Ringo Starr
    100. Carly Simon


    Wednesday, May 3, 2017

    The Top 50 Rap Acts of All Time

    image from Shockwave-Sound blog

    This list was created by aggregating 30 best-of-all-time lists focused on rap singers and groups and then factoring in those acts’ overall standing in Dave’s Music Database.

    1. Tupac Shakur (2pac)
    2. Dr. Dre
    3. Eminem
    4. LL Cool J
    5. Beastie Boys
    6. Jay-Z
    7. Public Enemy/Chuck D
    8. Kanye West
    9. Outkast
    10. Puff Daddy/P. Diddy

    11. 50 Cent
    12. The Notorious B.I.G.
    13. Run-D.M.C.
    14. Lil Wayne
    15. Timbaland
    16. Snoop Dogg
    17. Lauryn Hill
    18. Missy Elliott
    19. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five
    20. N.W.A.

    21. Nelly
    22. Ludacris
    23. Nas
    24. M.C. Hammer
    25. Ice Cube
    26. Will Smith/Fresh Prince
    27. Drake
    28. Will.i.am
    29. Rakim (solo and with Eric B.)
    30. Black Eyed Peas

    31. Busta Rhymes
    32. A Tribe Called Quest
    33. Nicki Minaj
    34. T.I.
    35. Ja Rule
    36. Lil’ Jon
    37. Arrested Development
    38. Lil’ Kim
    39. Fugees
    40. Bow Wow

    41. Method Man
    42. Wyclef Jean
    43. Mase
    44. Nate Dogg
    45. Pharrell Williams
    46. Wu-Tang Clan
    47. J. Cole
    48. Kendrick Lamar
    49. Future
    50. Scarface



    The Top 1000 Music Makers of All Time

    First posted 1/4/2013; updated 5/3/2017.

    There are plenty of best-of lists focused on the greatest artists or acts of all time. There are also specialized lists that look at best singers, songwriters, composers, producers, guitarists, bassists, drummers, keyboardists, pianists, etc. In fact, the DMDB has put together many such specialized lists. The intent of this list, however, is to compile a definitive list of music makers, i.e., anyone involved in making music. This list of 1000 individual music makers (no groups or duos included) covers the gamut of eras, genres, and various contributions to music. Note: individuals with groups named after them are included (examples: Tom Petty of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Charles Adams Prince of Prince’s Orchestra).

    This is NOT a ranked list; rather, this is just an alphabetical presentation of the top 1000 music makers. Click here to see a list of the top 100 acts of all time. Click on any of the artists’ names below to see a more detailed entry offering an idea of why this individual made the cut.


      A
    1. Aaliyah
    2. Paula Abdul
    3. Roy Acuff
    4. Bryan Adams
    5. Lee Adams
    6. Cannonball Adderley
    7. Adele
    8. Lou Adler
    9. Richard Adler
    10. Christina Aguilera
    11. Akon
    12. Licia Albanese
    13. Luther Allison
    14. Duane Allman
    15. Herb Alpert
    16. Tori Amos
    17. Bill Anderson
    18. John Anderson
    19. Leroy Anderson
    20. Lynn Anderson
    21. Marian Anderson
    22. Julie Andrews
    23. Paul Anka
    24. Adam Ant
    25. Ray Anthony
    26. Harold Arlen
    27. Louis Armstrong
    28. Eddy Arnold
    29. Nickolas Ashford
    30. Fred Astaire
    31. Rick Astley
    32. Chet Atkins
    33. Gene Austin
    34. Gene Autry
    35. Frankie Avalon
    36. Charles Aznavour
      B

    37. Babyface
    38. Johann Sebastian Bach
    39. Burt Bacharach
    40. Joan Baez
    41. Mildred Bailey
    42. Anita Baker
    43. Chet Baker
    44. Ginger Baker
    45. LaVern Baker
    46. Hank Ballard
    47. Moe Bandy
    48. Samuel Barber
    49. Bobby Bare
    50. Syd Barrett
    51. Blue Barron
    52. Jeff Barry
    53. Dave Bartholomew
    54. Béla Bartók
    55. Count Basie
    56. Nora Bayes
    57. Sidney Bechet
    58. Beck
    59. Jeff Beck
    60. Ludwig Van Beethoven
    61. Bix Beiderbecke
    62. Harry Belafonte
    63. Pat Benatar
    64. Tex Beneke
    65. Tony Bennett
    66. George Benson
    67. Brook Benton
    68. Irving Berlin
    69. Hector Berlioz
    70. Ben Bernie
    71. Leonard Bernstein
    72. Chuck Berry
    73. Beyoncé
    74. Bez
    75. Georges Bizet
    76. Björk
    77. Bill Black
    78. Clint Black
    79. Ritchie Blackmore
    80. Chris Blackwell
    81. Otis Blackwell
    82. Art Blakey
    83. Bobby “Blue” Bland
    84. Mary J. Blige
    85. Blind Blake
    86. Mike Bloomfield
    87. Andrea Bocelli
    88. Jerry Bock
    89. Marc Bolan
    90. Michael Bolton
    91. John “Bonzo” Bonham
    92. Jon Bon Jovi
    93. Bono
    94. Pat Boone
    95. Connee Boswell
    96. David Bowie
    97. Owen Bradley
    98. Johannes Brahms
    99. Brandy
    100. Toni Braxton
    101. Teresa Brewer
    102. Elton Britt
    103. Garth Brooks
    104. Big Bill Broonzy
    105. Bobby Brown
    106. Charles Brown
    107. Chris Brown
    108. Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
    109. Clifford Brown
    110. Ian Brown
    111. James Brown
    112. Jim Ed Brown
    113. Les Brown
    114. Roy Brown
    115. Ruth Brown
    116. Jackson Browne
    117. Dave Brubeck
    118. Boudleaux Bryant
    119. Felice Bryant
    120. Peabo Bryson
    121. Jeff Buckley
    122. Jimmy Buffett
    123. Solomon Burke
    124. Sonny Burke
    125. T-Bone Burnett
    126. Henry Burr
    127. James Burton
    128. Kate Bush
    129. Busta Rhymes
    130. Jerry Butler
      C

    131. Sammy Cahn
    132. John Cale
    133. Maria Callas
    134. Cab Calloway
    135. Albert Campbell
    136. Glen Campbell
    137. Captain Beefheart
    138. Irene Cara
    139. Mariah Carey
    140. Frankie Carle
    141. Hoagy Carmichael
    142. Leroy Carr
    143. Benny Carter
    144. Betty Carter
    145. Enrico Caruso
    146. Johnny Cash
    147. Carmen Cavallaro
    148. Nick Cave
    149. Gene Chandler
    150. Tracy Chapman
    151. Ray Charles
    152. Chubby Checker
    153. Cher
    154. Kenny Chesney
    155. Leonard Chess
    156. Frederic Chopin
    157. Charlie Christian
    158. Eric Clapton
    159. Buddy Clark
    160. Dick Clark
    161. Petula Clark
    162. Roy Clark
    163. Kelly Clarkson
    164. Reverend James Cleveland
    165. Van Cliburn
    166. Patsy Cline
    167. George Clinton
    168. Larry Clinton
    169. Rosemary Clooney
    170. Kurt Cobain
    171. Eddie Cochran
    172. Joe Cocker
    173. George M. Cohan
    174. Leonard Cohen
    175. Nat “King” Cole
    176. Natalie Cole
    177. Cy Coleman
    178. Ornette Coleman
    179. Albert Collins
    180. Arthur Collins
    181. Phil Collins
    182. John Coltrane
    183. Sean (“Puff Daddy” aka “P.Diddy” and “Diddy”) Combs
    184. Betty Comden
    185. Perry Como
    186. Earl Thomas Conley
    187. Sam Cooke
    188. Alice Cooper
    189. Aaron Copland
    190. Chick Corea
    191. Don Cornell
    192. Elvis Costello
    193. Floyd Cramer
    194. Robert Cray
    195. Jim Croce
    196. Steve Cropper
    197. Bing Crosby
    198. Bob Crosby
    199. David Crosby
    200. Sheryl Crow
    201. Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup
    202. Frank Crumit
    203. Celia Cruz
    204. Xavier Cugat
    205. Ian Curtis
      D

    206. Chuck D
    207. Dick Dale
    208. Roger Daltrey
    209. Vic Damone
    210. Charlie Daniels
    211. Bobby Darin
    212. Hal David
    213. Ray Davies
    214. Clive Davis
    215. Reverend Gary Davis
    216. Mac Davis
    217. Miles Davis
    218. Sammy Davis, Jr.
    219. Tyrone Davis
    220. Doris Day
    221. Jimmy Dean
    222. Claude Debussey
    223. John Denver
    224. Buddy DeSylva
    225. Neil Diamond
    226. Bo Diddley
    227. Dion
    228. Celine Dion
    229. Willie Dixon
    230. Eric Dolphy
    231. Placido Domingo
    232. Fats Domino
    233. Donovan
    234. Jimmy Dorsey
    235. Thomas A. Dorsey
    236. Tommy Dorsey
    237. Tom Dowd
    238. Lamont Dozier
    239. Drake
    240. Nick Drake
    241. Dr. Dre
    242. Eddy Duchin
    243. Antonin Dvorák
    244. Bob Dylan
      E

    245. Sheena Easton
    246. Fred Ebb
    247. Bob Eberly
    248. Billy Eckstine
    249. Duane Eddy
    250. The Edge
    251. Bernard Edwards
    252. Cliff (“Ukelele Ike”) Edwards
    253. David “Honeyboy” Edwards
    254. Richey Edwards
    255. Roy Eldridge
    256. Duke Ellington
    257. Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott
    258. Eminem
    259. Brian Eno
    260. Enya
    261. Ahmet Ertegun
    262. Nesuhi Ertegun
    263. Emilio Estefan, Jr.
    264. Gloria Estefan
    265. Melissa Etheridge
    266. Ruth Etting
    267. Bill Evans
    268. Gil Evans
    269. Bob Ezrin
      F

    270. Percy Faith
    271. José Feliciano
    272. Freddy Fender
    273. Bryan Ferry
    274. Arthur Fiedler
    275. Dorothy Fields
    276. Shep Fields
    277. 50 Cent
    278. Eddie Fisher
    279. Ella Fitzgerald
    280. Roberta Flack
    281. Tommy Flanagan
    282. Lester Flatt
    283. Flea
    284. Dan Fogelberg
    285. John Fogerty
    286. Red Foley
    287. Mary Ford
    288. Tennessee Ernie Ford
    289. David Foster
    290. Stephen Foster
    291. Peter Frampton
    292. Connie Francis
    293. Aretha Franklin
    294. Alan Freed
    295. Glenn Frey
    296. Lefty Frizzell
    297. Nelly Furtado
      G

    298. Kenny G
    299. Peter Gabriel
    300. Serge Gainsbourg
    301. Liam Gallagher
    302. Noel Gallagher
    303. Rory Gallagher
    304. Kenneth Gamble
    305. Jan Garber
    306. Judy Garland
    307. Erroll Garner
    308. George J. Gaskin
    309. Larry Gatlin
    310. Marvin Gaye
    311. Crystal Gayle
    312. George Gershwin
    313. Ira Gershwin
    314. Stan Getz
    315. Barry Gibb
    316. Georgia Gibbs
    317. Don Gibson
    318. Vince Gill
    319. Dizzy Gillespie
    320. Mickey Gilley
    321. David Gilmour
    322. Arthur Godfrey
    323. Gerry Goffin
    324. Bobby Goldsboro
    325. Benny Goodman
    326. Dexter Gordon
    327. Berry Gordy Jr.
    328. Eydie Gormé
    329. Vern Gosdin
    330. Glenn Gould
    331. Morton Gould
    332. Robert Goulet
    333. Bill Graham
    334. Grandmaster Flash
    335. Amy Grant
    336. Stéphane Grappelli
    337. Glen Gray
    338. Adolph Green
    339. Al Green
    340. Peter Green
    341. Ellie Greenwich
    342. Dave Grohl
    343. Woody Guthrie
    344. Buddy Guy
      H

    345. Merle Haggard
    346. Bill Haley
    347. Tom T. Hall
    348. Marvin Hamlisch
    349. Oscar Hammerstein II
    350. John H. Hammond
    351. Lionel Hampton
    352. Herbie Hancock
    353. George Frederic Handel
    354. W.C. Handy
    355. E.Y. “Yip” Harburg
    356. Byron Harlan
    357. Sheldon Harnick
    358. Slim Harpo
    359. Emmylou Harris
    360. Marion Harris
    361. Phil Harris
    362. Wynonie Harris
    363. Charles Harrison
    364. George Harrison
    365. Debbie Harry
    366. Freddie Hart
    367. Lorenz Hart
    368. PJ Harvey
    369. Coleman Hawkins
    370. Joseph Haydn
    371. Isaac Hayes
    372. Dick Haymes
    373. Horace Heidt
    374. Jascha Heifetz
    375. Fletcher Henderson
    376. Joe Henderson
    377. Jimi Hendrix
    378. Don Henley
    379. Jerry Herman
    380. Woody Herman
    381. Al Hibbler
    382. Faith Hill
    383. Lauryn Hill
    384. Earl Hines
    385. Billie Holiday
    386. Brian Holland
    387. Eddie Holland
    388. Buddy Holly
    389. John Lee Hooker
    390. Lightnin’ Hopkins
    391. Trevor Horn
    392. Lena Horne
    393. Marilyn Horne
    394. Bruce Hornsby
    395. Vladimir Horowitz
    396. Son House
    397. David Houston
    398. Whitney Houston
    399. Eddy Howard
    400. Howlin’ Wolf
    401. Freddie Hubbard
    402. Leon Huff
    403. Engelbert Humperdinck
    404. Mississippi John Hurt
    405. Ferlin Husky
    406. Ralf Hütter
      I

    407. Ice Cube
    408. Billy Idol
    409. Enrique Iglesias
    410. Julio Iglesias
    411. Jimmy Iovine
    412. Charles Ives
      J

    413. Ja Rule
    414. Alan Jackson
    415. Freddie Jackson
    416. Janet Jackson
    417. Mahalia Jackson
    418. Michael Jackson
    419. Wanda Jackson
    420. Little Walter Jacobs
    421. Illinois Jacquet
    422. Mick Jagger
    423. James Jamerson
    424. Elmore James
    425. Etta James
    426. Harry James
    427. Joni James
    428. Lewis James
    429. Rick James
    430. Skip James
    431. Sonny James
    432. Tommy James
    433. Keith Jarrett
    434. Jay-Z
    435. Blind Lemon Jefferson
    436. Gordon Jenkins
    437. Waylon Jennings
    438. Joan Jett
    439. Jewel
    440. Jimmy Jam
    441. Antonio Carlos Jobim
    442. Billy Joel
    443. Dr. John
    444. Elton John
    445. Glynn Johns
    446. Little Willie John
    447. Blind Willie Johnson
    448. James P. Johnson
    449. Johnnie Johnson
    450. Lonnie Johnson
    451. Robert Johnson
    452. Tommy Johnson
    453. Al Jolson
    454. Ada Jones
    455. George Jones
    456. Hank Jones
    457. Isham Jones
    458. Jack Jones
    459. John Paul Jones
    460. Norah Jones
    461. Quincy Jones
    462. Spike Jones
    463. Tom Jones
    464. Janis Joplin
    465. Scott Joplin
    466. Louis Jordan
      K

    467. Kitty Kallen
    468. John Kander
    469. Sammy Kaye
    470. KC
    471. Toby Keith
    472. Gene Kelly
    473. R. Kelly
    474. Hal Kemp
    475. Stan Kenton
    476. Jerome Kern
    477. Alicia Keys
    478. Chaka Khan
    479. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
    480. Albert King
    481. B.B. King
    482. Ben E. King
    483. Carole King
    484. Freddie King
    485. Pee Wee King
    486. Wayne King
    487. Eartha Kitt
    488. Gladys Knight
    489. Al Kooper
    490. André Kostelanetz
    491. Eddie Kramer
    492. Lenny Kravitz
    493. Kris Kristofferson
    494. Gene Krupa
    495. Fela Kuti
    496. Kay Kyser
      L

    497. Patti LaBelle
    498. Lady Gaga
    499. Frankie Laine
    500. Burton Lane
    501. “Mutt” Lange
    502. Daniel Lanois
    503. Mario Lanza
    504. Cyndi Lauper
    505. Avril Lavigne
    506. Steve Lawrence
    507. Tracy Lawrence
    508. Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter
    509. Brenda Lee
    510. Geddy Lee
    511. Peggy Lee
    512. Jerry Leiber
    513. John Lennon
    514. Annie Lennox
    515. Jack Leonard
    516. Alan Jay Lerner
    517. Huey Lewis
    518. Jerry Lee Lewis
    519. Ted Lewis
    520. Terry Lewis
    521. Liberace
    522. Lil’ Jon
    523. Lil’ Kim
    524. Lil Wayne
    525. Franz Liszt
    526. Little Anthony
    527. Little Milton
    528. Little Richard
    529. LL Cool J
    530. Frank Loesser
    531. Frederick Loewe
    532. Kenny Loggins
    533. Guy Lombardo
    534. Jennifer Lopez
    535. Vincent Lopez
    536. Darlene Love
    537. Patty Loveless
    538. Ludacris
    539. Jimmie Lunceford
    540. John Lydon (aka “Johnny Rotten”)
    541. Frankie Lymon
    542. Loretta Lynn
    543. Jeff Lynne
      M

    544. Harry MacDonough
    545. Uncle Dave Macon
    546. Madonna
    547. Magic Sam
    548. Taj Mahal
    549. Gustav Mahler
    550. Henry Mancini
    551. Barbara Mandrell
    552. Barry Manilow
    553. Barry Mann
    554. Manfred Mann
    555. Marilyn Manson
    556. Mantovani
    557. Bob Marley
    558. Johnny Marr
    559. Wynton Marsalis
    560. Dean Martin
    561. Freddy Martin
    562. George Martin
    563. Ricky Martin
    564. Tony Martin
    565. Al Martino
    566. Richard Marx
    567. Nick Mason
    568. Cosimo Matassa
    569. Johnny Mathis
    570. Dave Matthews
    571. Brian May
    572. John Mayall
    573. John Mayer
    574. Curtis Mayfield
    575. Martina McBride
    576. Paul McCartney
    577. John McCormack
    578. “Mississippi” Fred McDowell
    579. Reba McEntire
    580. Tim McGraw
    581. M.C. Hammer
    582. Sarah McLachlan
    583. John McLaughlin
    584. Don McLean
    585. Clyde McPhatter
    586. Jay McShann
    587. Blind Willie McTell
    588. Meat Loaf
    589. Joe Meek
    590. John Mellencamp (aka “John Cougar”)
    591. Memphis Minnie
    592. Felix Mendelssohn
    593. Sergio Mendes
    594. Yehudi Menuhin
    595. Johnny Mercer
    596. Freddie Mercury
    597. Ethel Merman
    598. Bob Merrill
    599. Robert Merrill
    600. Pat Metheny
    601. George Michael
    602. Bette Midler
    603. Luis Miguel
    604. Amos Milburn
    605. Glenn Miller
    606. Mitch Miller
    607. Roger Miller
    608. Steve Miller
    609. Ronnie Milsap
    610. Nathan Milstein
    611. Nicki Minaj
    612. Charles Mingus
    613. Kylie Minogue
    614. Guy Mitchell
    615. Joni Mitchell
    616. Monica
    617. Thelonious Monk
    618. Bill Monroe
    619. Vaughn Monroe
    620. John Michael Montgomery
    621. Wes Montgomery
    622. Claudio Monteverdi
    623. Keith Moon
    624. Art Mooney
    625. Scotty Moore
    626. George Morgan
    627. Russ Morgan
    628. Alanis Morissette
    629. Jim Morrison
    630. Van Morrison
    631. Morrissey
    632. Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton
    633. Nana Mouskouri
    634. Jerry Moss
    635. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    636. Gerry Mulligan
    637. Anne Murray
    638. Billy Murray
    639. Modest Mussorgsky
    640. J.W. Myers
      N

    641. Nas
    642. Nelly
    643. Ozzie Nelson
    644. Ricky Nelson
    645. Willie Nelson
    646. Alfred Newman
    647. Randy Newman
    648. Wayne Newton
    649. Olivia Newton-John
    650. Stevie Nicks
    651. Robert Nighthawk
    652. Ray Noble
    653. Jessye Norman
    654. The Notorious B.I.G.
      O

    655. Brendan O’Brien
    656. Billy Ocean
    657. Sinead O'Connor
    658. Mike Oldfield
    659. George Olsen
    660. Roy Orbison
    661. Tony Orlando
    662. Eugene Ormandy
    663. Ozzy Osbourne
    664. Donny Osmond
    665. Vess Ossman
    666. Johnny Otis
    667. Buck Owens
      P

    668. Ignacy Jan Paderewski
    669. Jimmy Page
    670. Patti Page
    671. Brad Paisley
    672. Earl Palmer
    673. Robert Palmer
    674. Charlie Parker
    675. Junior Parker
    676. Alan Parsons
    677. Gram Parsons
    678. Dolly Parton
    679. Jaco Pastorius
    680. Charley Patton
    681. Les Paul
    682. Luciano Pavarotti
    683. Johnny Paycheck
    684. Minnie Pearl
    685. Neil Peart
    686. Teddy Pendergrass
    687. Carl Perkins
    688. Itzhak Perlman
    689. Katy Perry
    690. Lee "Scratch" Perry
    691. Oscar Peterson
    692. Tom Petty
    693. Sam Phillips
    694. Wilson Pickett
    695. Webb Pierce
    696. Pink
    697. Gene Pitney
    698. Robert Plant
    699. Doc Pomus
    700. Lily Pons
    701. Iggy Pop
    702. Cole Porter
    703. David Porter
    704. Bud Powell
    705. Pérez Prado
    706. Elvis Presley
    707. Andre Previn
    708. Leontyne Price
    709. Lloyd Price
    710. Ray Price
    711. Charley Pride
    712. Louis Prima
    713. Prince
    714. Charles Adams Prince
    715. Professor Longhair
    716. Giacomo Puccini
    717. Tito Puente
    718. Alla Pugacheva
      Q

    719. Dan Quinn
      R

    720. Sun Ra
    721. Eddie Rabbitt
    722. Sergei Rachmaninoff
    723. Ma Rainey
    724. Bonnie Raitt
    725. Eros Ramazzotti
    726. Phil Ramone
    727. Lou Rawls
    728. Johnnie Ray
    729. Otis Redding
    730. Helen Reddy
    731. Jerry Reed
    732. Jimmy Reed
    733. Lou Reed
    734. Jim Reeves
    735. Martha Reeves
    736. Django Reinhardt
    737. Leo Reisman
    738. Tim Rice
    739. Buddy Rich
    740. Charlie Rich
    741. Cliff Richard
    742. Keith Richards
    743. Lionel Richie
    744. Nelson Riddle
    745. Rihanna
    746. LeAnn Rimes
    747. Tex Ritter
    748. Johnny Rivers
    749. Max Roach
    750. Marty Robbins
    751. Paul Robeson
    752. Smokey Robinson
    753. Jimmie Rodgers
    754. Richard Rodgers
    755. Johnny Rodriguez
    756. Tommy Roe
    757. Kenny Rogers
    758. Roy Rogers
    759. Sonny Rollins
    760. Harold Rome
    761. Linda Ronstadt
    762. Axl Rose
    763. Diana Ross
    764. Jerry Ross
    765. Tino Rossi
    766. Arthur Rubenstein
    767. Rick Rubin
    768. Todd Rundgren
    769. Otis Rush
    770. Jimmy Rushing
    771. Leon Russell
    772. Shaun Ryder
      S

    773. Sade
    774. Carole Bayer Sager
    775. Carlos Santana
    776. Franz Schubert
    777. William Schuman
    778. Robert Schumann
    779. Stephen Schwartz
    780. Earl Scruggs
    781. Seal
    782. Son Seals
    783. Neil Sedaka
    784. Pete Seeger
    785. Bob Seger
    786. Ben Selvin
    787. Rudolf Serkin
    788. Shakira
    789. Tupac Shakur
    790. Del Shannon
    791. Artie Shaw
    792. Robert Shaw
    793. George Shearing
    794. Jean Shepard
    795. T.G. Sheppard
    796. Richard Sherman
    797. Robert Sherman
    798. Billy Sherrill
    799. Nat Shilkret
    800. Dinah Shore
    801. Wayne Shorter
    802. Dmitri Shostakovich
    803. Mort Shuman
    804. Beverly Sills
    805. Horace Silver
    806. Carly Simon
    807. Joe Simon
    808. Paul Simon
    809. Nina Simone
    810. Valerie Simpson
    811. Frank Sinatra
    812. Nancy Sinatra
    813. Ricky Skaggs
    814. Slash
    815. Percy Sledge
    816. Bessie Smith
    817. Carl Smith
    818. Connie Smith
    819. Jimmy Smith
    820. Kate Smith
    821. Patti Smith
    822. Will Smith (aka "Fresh Prince")
    823. Snoop Doggy Dogg
    824. Hank Snow
    825. George Solti
    826. Stephen Sondheim
    827. John Phillip Sousa
    828. Otis Spann
    829. Britney Spears
    830. Phil Spector
    831. Len Spencer
    832. Dusty Springfield
    833. Bruce Springsteen
    834. Jo Stafford
    835. Joe Stampley
    836. Frank Stanley
    837. Kay Starr
    838. Ringo Starr
    839. Isaac Stern
    840. Cat Stevens
    841. Ray Stevens
    842. Shakin’ Stevens
    843. Cal Stewart
    844. Rod Stewart
    845. Sylvester “Sly Stone” Stewart
    846. Sting
    847. Michael Stipe
    848. Leopold Stokowski
    849. Mike Stoller
    850. George Strait
    851. Richard Strauss
    852. Igor Stravinsky
    853. Billy Strayhorn
    854. Barbra Streisand
    855. Charles Strouse
    856. Joe Strummer
    857. Jule Styne
    858. Donna Summer
    859. Keith Sweat
    860. Taylor Swift
      T

    861. Shel Talmy
    862. Tampa Red
    863. Art Tatum
    864. Bernie Taupin
    865. Billy Taylor
    866. Eddie Taylor
    867. Hound Dog Taylor
    868. James Taylor
    869. Johnnie Taylor
    870. Koko Taylor
    871. Roger Taylor
    872. Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
    873. Clark Terry
    874. Sonny Terry
    875. Joe Tex
    876. Sister Rosetta Tharpe
    877. B.J. Thomas
    878. Chris Thomas
    879. Irma Thomas
    880. Hank Thompson
    881. Richard Thompson
    882. Virgil Thomson
    883. Big Mama Thornton
    884. T.I.
    885. Mel Tillis
    886. Timbaland
    887. Justin Timberlake
    888. Mel Tormé
    889. Allen Toussaint
    890. Pete Townshend
    891. Merle Travis
    892. Randy Travis
    893. Lennie Tristano
    894. Travis Tritt
    895. Ernest Tubb
    896. Tanya Tucker
    897. Big Joe Turner
    898. Ike Turner
    899. Tina Turner
    900. Shania Twain
    901. Conway Twitty
    902. McCoy Tyner
      U

    903. Lars Ulrich
    904. Carrie Underwood
    905. Keith Urban
    906. Usher
      V

    907. Ritchie Valens
    908. Rudy Vallee
    909. Frankie Valli
    910. Walter Van Brunt
    911. Eddie Van Halen
    912. Luther Vandross
    913. Sarah Vaughan
    914. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    915. Bobby Vee
    916. Giuseppe Verdi
    917. Butch Vig
    918. Gene Vincent
    919. Bobby Vinton
    920. Tony Visconti
    921. Antonio Vivaldi
      W

    922. Richard Wagner
    923. Porter Wagoner
    924. Tom Waits
    925. Jimmy Wakely
    926. Billy Walker
    927. Junior Walker
    928. T-Bone Walker
    929. Fats Waller
    930. Steve Wariner
    931. Fred Waring
    932. Diane Warren
    933. Dionne Warwick
    934. Dinah Washington
    935. Ethel Waters
    936. Muddy Waters
    937. Roger Waters
    938. Gene Watson
    939. Johnny “Guitar” Watson
    940. Chick Webb
    941. Jimmy Webb
    942. Andrew Lloyd Webber
    943. Ben Webster
    944. Ted Weems
    945. Wei Wei
    946. Cynthia Weil
    947. Kurt Weill
    948. Lawrence Welk
    949. Paul Weller
    950. Junior Wells
    951. Kitty Wells
    952. Dottie West
    953. Kanye West
    954. Paul Weston
    955. Jerry Wexler
    956. Barry White
    957. Bukka White
    958. Jack White
    959. Paul Whiteman
    960. Norman Whitfield
    961. Margaret Whiting
    962. Slim Whitman
    963. Will.i.am
    964. Andy Williams
    965. Bert Williams
    966. Don Williams
    967. Hank Williams
    968. Hank Williams, Jr.
    969. John Williams
    970. Mary Lou Williams
    971. Robbie Williams
    972. Roger Williams
    973. Tony Williams
    974. Vanessa Williams
    975. Sonny Boy Williamson #1 (John Lee Williamson)
    976. Sonny Boy Williamson #2 (Rice Miller)
    977. Bob Wills
    978. Meredith Willson
    979. Brian Wilson
    980. Jackie Wilson
    981. Nancy Wilson
    982. Teddy Wilson
    983. Amy Winehouse
    984. Johnny Winter
    985. Steve Winwood
    986. Bill Withers
    987. Jimmy Witherspoon
    988. Bobby Womack
    989. Stevie Wonder
    990. Link Wray
    991. Tammy Wynette
      X-Y

    992. Trisha Yearwood
    993. Dwight Yoakam
    994. Thom Yorke
    995. Angus Young
    996. Faron Young
    997. Lester Young
    998. Neil Young
      Z

    999. Frank Zappa
    1000. Joe Zawinul

    Honorable Mention

    The following are music makers who were formerly ranked in the top 1000: